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In this course, photographer and scanning expert Taz Tally describes how to use the LaserSoft Imaging SilverFast software to scan photos, line art, film negatives, and other printed documents, while getting the highest quality scans possible from your scanner. The course begins with an overview of SilverFast, then takes a task-oriented look at the SilverFast automatic and manual scanning modes, showing numerous scanning projects from start to finish. The course also explores a variety of specialized scanning topics, such as removing color casts and scratches, High Dynamic Range (HDR) scanning, and wet scanning.
In this video, I'd like to talk about and show you and discuss the Automatic Color Correction tool that's available to you in the Manual mode. In other corrections such as the target-based correction and neutral-based corrections that we accomplished, we did everything numerically; we used our color sampler points like you see here and in fact, this is one of the images that we used for the neutral based color correction. So I want to use this same image that you can compare the results with the auto correction that we're going to do right now. The auto correction capabilities, which are built-in, have a variety of different choices.
This is the Auto Correction tool right here where I'm pointing. Notice the little tick mark down there. If you just click and hold anywhere close to this, you'll see all the various built-in versions of the auto correction. First, just do the general auto correction that is Shift+A and that provides a correction and just while we're here, let's go ahead and you can always undo by just going Command+Option or Ctrl+Alt on Windows A or just Option or Alt in Windows and then click to remove the correction, either way.
Let's just look at the highlight; 211, 216, 228. If you remember this image, blue color cast right throughout. When we click up here and we apply just a regular auto correction; 222, 226, 239. A little bit better, but by no means neutral. Same thing in the midtone and the shadows; we still got the blue color cast. Let's try it with the Auto Color Correction and see if that's any better. Look at the top value; 222, 226, 239 in the white diffuse highlight; 227, 233, 239. A little bit better still, but still certainly not neutral.
Really, those are the two tools and particularly this one, the Color Correction, which are really kind of designed internally to try to neutralize an image. My point is that it improves the image, but you really don't come close to what you can do with the manual tools. What is of some interest here is you've got all these different types of scenes like Portraits and Snow and Night and Evening and Gold and Gold is gold film, and Technic and Skin and so forth. We have all these different ones, so you might scan a portrait and then choose Portrait for the correction and then take a look at the Histogram, take a look at the Gradation tool and see what SilverFast has applied.
The basic intelligence built into these tools is really quite good. The fact that it doesn't correct every single image perfectly is no surprise, because images are so different. But for instance, here underneath the Gradation tool, previously in this course, we scanned a portrait image and we talked about controlling contrast. And I said for landscape images and product shots, you want a nice S-shaped curve to improve contrast. Whereas for portrait, you want to kind of flatten it a little bit, reverse S. Well, guess what, when you choose portrait underneath the automatic correction, it's exactly what it does.
So my point is it's a great learning tool and it may be a good starting place. But if you really want to get control of your scans; you want to get the colors to be just right--like in this one here we wanted the whites to pop, we wanted the shadows to be dark, we wanted to remove all of that blue color cast--we get good saturation of colors. We're probably not going to get it using the Automatic Correction tools. You may get once in a while, but you won't know when. So I just wanted to show you the difference; show you that it's a good tool; a starting place; and as a teaching tool. But if you want the best quality, you want dependable consistent results that you can depend upon when you leave the scanning program and go to use it elsewhere into print, you're probably going to want to really go the full manual route.
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